Look, I know this is probably a very very long shot, but does anyone know someone who would like to spend a rent-free week in Edinburgh from Saturday 18 October – in a comfortable house, with two friendly cats?
We have house-exchanged for holidays at various times in the past and always found it worked well. In this case, we don’t want an exchange; just a cat-loving house-sitter (or sitters) who would be happy to spend a week in our house and be nice to the cats.
We need to sort something out for the cats because to celebrate Mr Life’s 60th birthday (which was in May) the offspring have organised for us all to go down to Wales so that he can spend a day driving a narrow-gauge railway train. Those of us who live in this house are staying there all week. This gift has made him very happy. He’s been sent a programme of events, which will involve his being on his train from 7.30 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon. Such fun. Well, no, it wouldn't be the top of my list of great activities but he adores steam trains.
However, we haven’t worked out what we’re going to do with Cassie and Sirius. I have various friends who’ve offered to pop in and feed them, but I really don’t feel I’d be happy thinking of them all by themselves in the evenings, when they’re accustomed to watching television with Mr Life. "Scrubs" is their current favourite programme. We could put them in a cattery, where they’d be safe, but I really don’t think they’d be very pleased. Guilt, guilt… My mother thinks that this is silly – they’re just cats – but… well.
It's just possible that Daughter 1's guinea pigs might also be in our house if our son-in-law decides to come with us. An added incentive for any prospective house-sitters! I don't think the guinea pigs are so interested in television, though.
I asked my brother (who lives in Epsom in Surrey) if any of his friends would like a week in Edinburgh and he said, “In October?”. He can be quite scathing. He’s lived too long in the south and has become soft. All right, October perhaps isn’t the very best month to spend here. It might be lovely (crisp days, still air, sunshine) but it might be dark, rainy and windy. You just can’t predict these things. But there’s plenty to do: museums, art galleries, walks, historic buildings and so on. And we have heating, lighting, a roof – things to combat rain and wind.
We have one room with a double bed, one with twin beds and two with single beds; two bathrooms, two living rooms and a big kitchen with the usual appliances. Our house is in a quiet cul-de-sac but two minutes from a bus stop into town. There are lots of buses and you can be in town in ten minutes – it’s only a couple of miles. Or you can walk there in half an hour. Edinburgh is a good city to walk around; it’s not too big.
Anyway. Any ideas? This offer is open, you’ll understand, to any of my blogfriends or their friends and relations, not to random passing burglars. Do leave a comment if you can help. Or even if you can't.